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Sarah E. O'Connell

Senior Counsel

Sarah E. O

New York

T:+1 212 318 3093

Sarah O'Connell joined the New York office in 2002. As senior counsel, her practice is focused on a wide range of commercial litigation matters, including business and corporate litigation, class actions, international disputes and arbitration. She has represented clients in white collar cases ranging from internal company investigations to probes and formal investigations by the SEC and Department of Justice, and competition-related matters and consumer class actions, including relating to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"). 

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  • Education

    JD, Fordham University School of Law, 2002
    BA, magna cum laude, Philosophy, The University of Scranton, 1997

    Sarah is admitted to practice in the state of New York, the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Sixth Circuits. 

  • Representative experience
    • First-chaired trial for major energy company over lease agreement dispute arising from divestiture of retail properties in the New York metropolitan area, resulting in directed verdict in favor of client
    • Represented energy company in dispute alleging diminution in property value as a result of alleged environmental contamination resulting in dismissal of some claims on motion to dismiss and remaining claims on summary judgment
    • Represented major energy company in multi-defendant class action brought in Federal District Court under the Commodity Exchange Act alleging price manipulation and resulting in favorable settlement
    • Lead associate representing bank in its role as indenture trustee in an interpleader action, including counterclaims and third party claims involving disputes between bondholders/liquidity providers and others, which resulted in very favorable resolution on the eve of trial
    • Represented private equity firm in breach of contract and fraud actions pending in various federal and state courts arising out of client's investment in large time share projects, in which we obtained a preliminary injunction and dismissal of several claims followed by favorable settlement including substantial renegotiation of client's investment position  
    • Lead associate representing energy services company in action alleging alter ego claims arising from breach of admiralty and maritime contract resulting in favorable settlement  
    • Advised a large European bank on litigation-related issues arising from its role as liquidity provider to certain special purpose vehicles in a conduit structure involving subprime obligations
    • Represented broker dealer in business separation litigation in New York Supreme and Appellate courts and concurrent NASD arbitration in which we obtained an award; all of which resulted in a favorable global resolution of all disputes
    • Acted as lead associate in successfully obtaining injunctive relief on behalf of a technology company to prevent use by a patent licensor of confidential information
    • Represented telecommunications carrier in action under Federal Communications Act and state law alleging failure to comply with FCC regulations over payphone compensation, which settled favorably for client
    • Represented major telecommunications company in several disputes with independent sales agents pending in various courts across the country
    • Represented leading energy company in action pending in federal court alleging tortious interference, resulting in dismissal of complaint
    • Represented mortgage lending company and its principal in investigation by the SEC and Nevada Mortgage Lending Division 
    • Represented South African energy and chemical manufacturer in New York action in dispute arising from plaintiffs' alleged exposure to hazardous substances in South Africa, culminating in dismissal of all claims on grounds of lack of personal jurisdiction and forum non conveniens 
  • Admissions
    • New York State Bar
  • Rankings and recognitions
    • New York Metro Super Lawyer, business litigation, Thomson Reuters, 2013 - 2017
    • New York Metro Rising Star, business litigation, Thomson Reuters, 2011 - 2012
  • Publications
  • Speaking engagements
    • "The Alien Tort Statute," Speaker, Fulbright Seminar, Houston, TX, October 11, 2011
    • "Best Practices for Educators and Employers on Building and Supporting the Pipeline," Moderator – Plenary Session Panel, New York City Bar, Student Legal Education and Opportunity Program, New York, NY, March 3, 2011
  • Memberships and activities
    • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
      • Committee on Diversity Pipeline Initiatives (2010-present), Secretary (2012-present)
      • Young Lawyers' Committee (2005 - 2010), Secretary (2008 - 2010)
    • New York office Recruiting Committee

    Sarah is actively involved with the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program and the Launching Your Career Series, both sponsored by the New York City Bar Association.  She also volunteers with New York Cares and the Special Olympics.